"Not only is it raining on their parade, but it's darn cold, too.
Mardi Gras revelers in New Orleans — accustomed to balmy weather for their big annual celebration — spent Tuesday bundled up under their costumes as the mercury hovered in the high 30s.
"I've got my long johns on," Carol LeBlanc, who was dressed up as a scarecrow, told The Associated Press from the chilly, wet parade route.
At 2 p.m. local time, New Orleans was registering at 39 degrees. That's just shy of the coldest "Fat Tuesday" daily high ever recorded — 38 degrees in Feb. 14, 1899, according to the National Weather Service.
In contrast, the warmest Mardi Gras on record was Feb. 20, 1917, when temperatures climbed to 83 degrees. The average is around 67 degrees.
"It's cold for Mardi Gras," said Mike Shields, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service, adding that it was particularly cool considering how late Mardi Gras falls this year.
Mardi Gras is the final day of the Carnival season and is on a different date each year, falling the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Members of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parade down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans.
There have only been four other Mardi Gras that fell on March 4, and their average high was 64.8 degrees. No more than a trace of rain has ever fallen on a March 4 Mardi Gras, but the wettest Mardi Gras ever was 2.12 inches of rain on March 1, 1927.
The cold that New Orleans revelers are experiencing is part of the bitter temperatures that have enveloped the country this winter, Shields said.
"It's just been a continuation of these cold air masses coming down into the eastern part of the country. This is just the latest one," he said. "The whole cold spell that the eastern part of the country has right now is affecting the South."
New Orleans, which typically sees an average high of 69 degrees this time of year, won't be shivering for long: Tomorrow is forecast to warm up to 60 degrees.
And the cold and gray didn't stop merrymakers from having fun. Tens of thousands were still expected to gather in the city's French Quarter".
Chuck, Elizabeth. "New Orleans Shivers in One of Coldest Mardi Gras Ever." NBC News. NBCNew.com, 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-orleans-shivers-one-coldest-mardi-gras-ever-n44176>.